The hunt for black gold: is California the world’s next truffle hotspot?

For decades, enthusiasts have hoped truffles can follow wines path to success in the state. Charlotte Simmonds joins a search for the delicacy Staci OToole is lying face down in the dirt. I can smell it! she cries, nose to the roots of a hazelnut tree. A funky, fungal odor emanates from a shallow hole in the ground of this Sonoma Valley orchard. It hints at a hidden treasure many years in the making: a French Prigord truffle, grown right here in California. Commonly known as black truffles or even is s this year, while New Zealand, South Africa and Chile all have burgeoning industries. For decades many have pinned their hopes on the Mediterranean climate, robust wine industry and …

Felicity Huffman among dozens charged over admissions fraud at top US schools

Scheme helped wealthy Americans buy their childrens way into elite universities including Yale, Georgetown and Stanford US federal prosecutors have charged Hollywood actors Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, along with almost 50 other people, over a $25m scheme to help wealthy Americans buy their childrens way into elite universities including Yale, Georgetown, Stanford and the University of Southern California. Huffman was due to appear in court in Los Angeles on Tuesday afternoon. Her husband, actor William H Macy, showed up at court ahead of his wifes appearance to face a charge of bribery. Two hundred FBI agents were involved in the investigation, dubbed Operation Varsity Blues, which exposed charging documents,Singers operation arranged for examiners to take college admissions exams in …